Dream Theater Wiki
The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun
When Dream and Day Unite
Length 8:05
Working title Death of Spock
Release date March 6th, 1989
Lyrics John Petrucci
Music Dream Theater
First live performance Sundance, Bay Shore, NY, USA, on Sept. 3, 1988
Total live plays 28
Recorded Kajem/Victory Studios
Other appearances When Dream and Day Unite Demos, When Dream and Day Reunite
Previous song Afterlife
Next song Only a Matter of Time

The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun is a song by Dream Theater. It is the seventh song from their first album, When Dream and Day Unite.



Watching my window I was led like a child
As the roadway lamplights
Misguided my mind through the night
A shadow of limits
We were racing the rain
my hands held the wheel
My eyes tried to hold their place

There must have been a time
When I thought that you were watching
It had to be when my senses lost control
I thought I'd slipped away
I thought I could still feel us moving
It must have been a cloud
No bigger than a man's hand

Every reason I risk my life
To come back to you
Is locked behind your door
You're my immunity
Outside I watched you burn
Heavy hearts were bleeding
A cry for help, a familiar voice
My melting hands streaked the glass

As I walked away
I wondered what had really happened
Had I run out of time
Did I push myself too far
As my last step fell
I felt my hands upon the wheel
Had I come back to life
Or did I ever leave at all

In higher lives
We seem to be always a moment too late
We're past the time
when we looked on
Now we're
This time for real
I locked the door behind me
My mind was still a wreck
from what I saw
For when my hands are still
I'll recognize the message
Never again will my senses lose control
In higher lives
We seem to be
Always a moment too late
We're past the time
when we looked on
Now we're


According to Petrucci, the song is about a man who is driving late at night in bad weather and falls asleep at the wheel for a split second. In that small amount of time he has a dream about his own death and he awakens with a new outlook on life.


Compared to most of the songs on the album, The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun is slower and more progressive, though not as much as The Killing Hand. The song has an extended atmospheric intro, referred to by the band as "The Death of Spock".


In instrumental form, the song was called "The Death of Spock" which still refers to the intro. The name refers to the intro fitting in well with the death scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Live Performances[]

Performances of the song are very uncommon, though it did see a surge in popularity on the tour to support Train of Thought. Live versions of the song are straightforward and do not deviate in any major way from the album version. The song was played a few times in 1994 sans the "Death of Spock" section and also without any keyboards, presumably because the band's then-new keyboardist Derek Sherinian had not learned the song.